Worlds Top 10 at Open Championship

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2007, 4:00 pm
Here's a rundown of the top-10 players as they compete at Carnoustie for the 136th Open Championship.

Age: 31
Country: United States
World ranking: 1
Worldwide victories: 67
Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005), U.S. Open (2000, 2002), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006)
Last five British Opens: 1-1-9-4-28
Last time at Carnoustie: T7
Majors in 2007: Masters-T2, U.S. Open-T2
DIVOT: He has a chance to have the longest winning streak in the Open since Peter Thomson (1954-56) or have the most consecutive runner-up finishes in the majors since Ernie Els (2000). The putter let him down at the Masters, his irons hurt him at Oakmont. He won't be able to keep driver in the bag like he did at Hoylake, but Woods generally thrives on tough courses, and the British Open might end up being his best major.
Age: 37
Country: United States
World ranking: 2
Worldwide victories: 15
Majors: U.S. Open (2003)
Last five British Opens: 4-MC-MC-MC-MC
Last time at Carnoustie: T10
Majors in 2007: Masters-T15, U.S. Open-T2
DIVOT: He is without a victory this year, but keeps putting himself in contention; the playoff loss at Colonial, the 71st hole bogey at Oakmont and last week at Congressional. His fourth-place finish last year at Liverpool showed he remembers how to play links courses. Missed the cut in four straight Opens while trying to work on a higher ball flight for his predominantly American schedule. Considered one of the toughest players, and is suited to handle the toughest links.
Age: 37
Country: United States
World ranking: 3
Worldwide victories: 31
Majors: Masters (2004, 2006), PGA Championship (2005)
Last five British Opens: T22-T60-3-T59-T66
Last time at Carnoustie: MC
Majors in 2007: Masters-T24, U.S. Open-MC
DIVOT: Until Oakmont, he had not missed a cut in a major since Carnoustie. He has never played the Open very well, except for 2004, which was his best year in the majors. And he is even more of a question mark now given his injury (left wrist), his performance (missed cut) and assessment ('It's dangerous out there') at the U.S. Open. The good news is that the rough shouldn't be as thick this year. The bad news is he hasn't played on the weekend since winning The Players Championship.
Age: 27
Country: Australia
World ranking: 4
Worldwide victories: 12
Majors: None
Last five British Opens: T8-T34-T42-MC-MC
Last time at Carnoustie: DNP
Majors in 2007: Masters-T27, U.S. Open-MC
DIVOT: He might be the highest-ranked player to have rarely been a threat in a major. A solid player who does everything well but nothing extraordinarily, he still hasn't shown the ability to avoid getting spooked about the biggest tournaments in golf. Won in Houston earlier this year, but didn't hold the lead at Memorial. The key for him is to start well and go from there, because he's as capable as anyone.
Age: 37
Country: South Africa
World ranking: 5
Worldwide victories: 58
Majors: U.S. Open (1994, 1997), British Open (2002)
Last five British Opens: 3-T34-2-T18-1
Last time at Carnoustie: T24
Majors in 2007: Masters-MC, U.S. Open-T51
DIVOT: His last victory against top competition was more than two years ago, and he barely made a peep in the first two majors. But links golf usually brings out the best in the Big Easy, and a good attitude could go a long way at Carnoustie. He went five years between his last two majors, and in a quiet way, he could be due to end that drought. The only thing he is lacking is a good week of putting.
Age: 44
Country: Fiji
World ranking: 6
Worldwide victories: 53
Majors: Masters (2000), PGA Championship (1998, 2004)
Last five British Opens: MC-5-20-2-MC
Last time at Carnoustie: MC
Majors in 2007: Masters-T13, U.S. Open-T20
DIVOT: The British Open is the major he desperately wants to win given his professional rebirth in the early 1990s, and time is running out. He has a nagging elbow injury that he had checked out, but then played reasonably well at Congressional. He can be a factor at Carnoustie because of his driving strength, and being in contention Sunday could inspire him to make one more run.
Age: 31
Country: Sweden
World ranking: 7
Worldwide victories: 9
Majors: None
Last five British Opens: T48-T34-DNP-DNP-DNP
Last time at Carnoustie: DNP
Majors in 2007: Masters-T17, U.S. Open-MC
DIVOT: The big-hitting Swede hit his stride in February when he won Dubai and the Accenture Match Play Championship. His wife is expecting their first child, which might cloud his Open chances. He is a powerful player, but it remains to be seen whether he has enough variety in his game to handle the various obstacles presented in links golf.
Age: 30
Country: Australia
World ranking: 8
Worldwide victories: 3
Majors: U.S. Open (2006)
Last five British Opens: 16-5-DNP-DNP-DNP
Last time at Carnoustie: MC
Majors in 2007: Masters-T24, U.S. Open-T42
DIVOT: Winning the U.S. Open exposed him as one of the top players, although he hasn't done much to back that up. His only serious chance of winning was the Australian Open late last year and the Accenture Match Play Championship, where he lost in the final. Even so, he has been playing with more patience and poise, and he has performed well in the two Opens in which he has played.
Age: 29
Country: England
World ranking: 9
Worldwide victories: 4
Majors: None
Last five British Opens: 35-52-MC-MC-MC
Last time at Carnoustie: MC
Majors in 2007: Masters-T10, U.S. Open-MC
DIVOT: Along with Paul Casey, he carries hopes for a British community that has not seen a major champion since Paul Lawrie's surprise win at Carnoustie in 1999. Fundamentally sound as a player, he is now more experienced from playing in the final group with Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship. It would help to get off to a good start. A year ago, he opened with a 74 and never quite recovered.
Age: 35
Country: Ireland
World ranking: 10
Worldwide victories: 14
Majors: None
Last five British Opens: MC-DNP-MC-T22-T5
Last time at Carnoustie: T29
Majors in 2007: Masters-T7, U.S. Open-MC
DIVOT: Captured one of his biggest victories at the Irish Open, which feels like a major when one is Irish. He is another who can end Europe's drought in the majors that dates to Carnoustie in 1999. Started the final round at the Masters only two shots out of the lead, but failed to get anything going. Does well at putting his blinders on, so he's not likely to be bothered by Carnoustie's challenge.
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